Hi there fellow sailors in the S.E. Asia
Crystal Blue, my new (to me) Island Packet
29 will be delivered to Port Klang in Malaysia
on or about June 29th. My intention is to sail her to Thailand
via Langkawi & Penang and then live aboard her while pursuing a "career" as a part-time English
teacher in Phuket. While I have been to Thailand
many times (aprox 50), this will be my first time sailing into Thai waters on my own boat
. So I can use a lot of advice from you guys already over there.
I'm looking at anchoring/mooring in either Au Chalong Bay, or near Yacht Haven, so I'd love to hear about the pros/cons of each/either.
More importantly for the moment however, I'm trying to determine if getting a VHF license
is necessary for the boat
and/or for me as an operator in Thailand. Any tips on how to go about that would also be greatly appreciated. Likewise, I know I need to get an AIS
transponder, but I could use any tips about how to get it registered, get a MMSI number, etc.
I grew up in Southern Florida
, and have made over 100 trips to the bahamas
by boat (my dad used to run dive trips to Bimini), but we never registered our VHF
for use in the Bahamas
. And besides, the Bahamas only just barely counts as sailing in foreign waters, especially if you're from Palm Beach. We didn't have AIS
back then either. I won't give away my exact age to the youngsters on the forum by telling them the "technology" we used back then, but the old timers on the forum may recognize this as an important way to get to Bimini
"--..-...-...". I really hate being old !!!!
Anyway, I'm really excited (and quite nervous) about this new adventure, so I'd love to make as many new (sailor) friends as possible BEFORE I ship off to Thailand.
BTW- Two companies are working together to ship my boat to Malaysia
; Peter's & May, and Seven Seas. Seven Seas is handling the pick up in Lake Seneca, New York
, and Peters and May will handle getting it to Asia
and unloaded at Port Klang. I've already arranged to have the mast
re-stepped at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club at Port Klang. I did seriously consider sailing the boat to Thailand from New York
, but after planning the entire route
and calculating all the costs, I determined shipping
the boat was the best option for me.
I'm just starting the process of fitting out the boat for long-term liveaboard
use in Thailand, so any tips on what to buy here vs. buy there will be greatly appreciated as well. The boat has been used in fresh water
its entire life, so it is not well equipped for cruising. I just bought 300 watts worth of Solar panels
& I know I need to instal an AIS. Besides Wind
& Speed instruments, a GPS
, and a VHF radio
, the boat doesn't have much else onboard. I'm hoping to live a relatively minimalist cruising-lifestyle, so I'm not looking to load her up with every convenience known to man. I'm fine with pulling my anchor
up by hand, but she doesn't even have a serious anchor rode
yet. I think it she has 6' of chain and 100' of nylon rode
In fact, the hull
has never encountered a single
barnacle since it was manufactured in 1992. So yeah, I've gotta put new bottom paint
for heavy growth on her as well. Now her bottom is covered in VC-17, a soft ablative that will offer little help in the warm waters of Thailand. I plan on putting a few coats of Petite Hydrocoat on her, as this is the only thing I could find that will go over the VC-17. If that doesn't work
well, I'll explore other options once I get to Asia.
Sailing Crystal Blue
P.S. I am American born and raised, but I spent the last 30 years living and working in China
& Thailand. I'm over 50, my favorite color is blue, and I love beach volleyball. I don't hate stink potters, & I even enjoy a spin on a jetski (gasp) from time to time. So I suppose I may not even be considered as a "real" sailor in some circles, especially since my boat is considered a "pig" by many real sailors. Ah well, it is what is!
P.S.S. If anyone is looking for a ride from Port Klang to Phuket on a chubby little sailboat in the beginning of July, I've got room for two or three crew/passengers.